Monday, September 28, 2009

Visiting Policy

Now that cold and flu season are upon us, we will be being extra careful with Charlie to make sure that we do all we can to keep him healthy. His lungs are obviously still recovering and developing and we do not want anything to interfere with that! Vince and I are getting our flu shots tomorrow and Charlie will be getting his the next day. Once the H1N1 vaccine is available we will also be getting that shot. We obviously recommend that everyone follows the advice being given to get the seasonal flu shot that is available now and possibly the H1N1 if it becomes available to the mass public. Doing all you can to keep yourself healthy should be important to you and it benefits everyone else as well!

After much discussion between Vince and I, we have decided that Charlie will be staying out of the public eye until spring time. We never brought him out to many places anyways, but he will have to live without the trips to Target that he has come to love! No malls, grocery stores, or restaurants for him! When it comes to social gatherings at people's homes we will make that call then as to what is best for Charlie. There are too many factors to consider to make one sweeping statement about what will be best.

As for visitors, we do not want to cut off Charlie's time with everyone and we trust that our friends and family who love Charlie so dearly will not do anything to put him in danger. If you are sick, think you might be getting sick, have been around people who are sick - please stay away. If you are planning on visiting after being out where you may be in contact with many germs, please bring a change of clothes. (We always change our clothes after being out at the grocery store, Walmart, church, etc and Vince always changes when he gets home from work before touching Charlie.) When you get to the house, please wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you come in (even if you are just coming from your own house) and sanitize or wash them occasionally while interacting with Charlie. We don't like to be rude or demanding, so please don't make us put our foot down because we have to do what is best for Charlie.

Hopefully by being overly cautious we will avoid any complications down the road. We are looking forward to a quiet, uneventful next few months! In all honesty, this is not much more than what anyone with a healthy baby should be doing! Its just good practice for keeping people in good health in general! Thank you everyone for being understanding and adhering to our standards! :-)

"Watch out Daddy! I am going to drool on your face!!"

"Hi there big guy! My name is Charlie too! Pretty cool, huh??"
from our visit with Charlie's great grandparents
in Saratoga Springs two weekends ago

The family who lives up the street from us let us borrow some of
their Baby Einstein DVD collection. Charlie was rather mesmerized!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Nothing much to report

There is not much new going on in Charlie-land. He seems to be extra sleepy lately - anothergrowth spurt?? He is so big now! He sits up with no problem by himself and in the past couple of days has mastered how to get himself into a sitting position without our help. He is trying with all his might to pull himself up on the couch and the rail of his crib. We did not realize how good he was getting at this until the other night when I went to peak in at him to see if he was sleeping and he was on his knees looking out into the room. Needless to say, we lowered the mattress all the way down that night! He is really really close to crawling. He has done what looks like crawling a couple of times, but he doesn't quite have it down yet. Any day now though! Time to start the baby proofing!!

His evening feeding has been rough the past few days. He has just been getting too sleepy and then wants nothing to do with cereal and veggies. So, we are brainstorming how to rearrange his schedule so that he is more pleasant at this meal. We are dreading the time change in a couple weeks and what impact that will have on Charlie! He has been doing well with the foods we have introduced so far with the exception of green beans. I don't know if I didn't make them right or what, but they are kind of chunky in texture and he just gags every time he gets them in his mouth. We tried a few different times with the same reaction, so I think we are going to forget about them for now. His cereal is brown rice and oatmeal now and he has had sweet potatoes, banana, and avocado and enjoys them all.

He LOVES the cats and Chloe! He starts to giggle every time they get close to him and reaches out to grab them. Stormy loves him right back because loves to be loved! Chester is a little more reserved, but doesn't seem to mind Charlie too much. And Chloe just goes with the flow. She doesn't go out of her way to pay attention to Charlie, but she doesn't mind him either. He was beating on her nose the other day and she just took it, so I think they will be good friends. Maybe she will even share her comfy bed with him some day!

We go for our regular seasonal flu shots next week. Hopefully all goes well with that. We still do not know for certain what to do about the H1N1. I want to talk to our pediatrician about it again and try and get more of an explanation about his stance on it. We will see! Other than that we are enjoying the fall weather! This is one of the best times of year to live in upstate New York!!

Mmm... Avocado
Can you see the sleepy glazed look in his eyes? :-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

7 months and all caught up!

Charlie had his "6 month" appointment last Thursday and things went really well! He weighed in at 18 lbs 3 oz and measured 28.5 inches. This put him at the 50th percentile for weight (remember that he started at the 5th when we came home!) and the 90th percentile for height!! The nurses and Dr Dracker are all very pleased with the progress he has made, as are we obviously! He got his 6 month shots, which he was not very happy about, but was really good otherwise! We go back for his flu shot at the end of the month. Dr Dracker also wants him to get the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available, but we have heard mixed reports about what the recommendation is. I wish that there was one recommendation that everyone followed so that I am not left second guessing what we should do, but it seems like everyone takes their own interpretation of what is best. I was talking to Dee about it last night and she is going to do some investigating for us though, so we will see!

One of his little teeth on the bottom popped through last week. The one next to it is so close that I am sure it will make its appearance in the next day or so! He is eating really well. He seems to have fallen into a routine where he only eats 4 times a day, which makes me a little nervous, but he is eating a really good amount. We added oatmeal into his brown rice cereal this week with no problems and have mastered sweet potatoes and bananas now. We tried avocado for the first time last night and it seemed to go over well, though it does look a little gross! We have also let him start practicing with the sippy cup. He doesn't always succceed, but it gives him something to do while we are eating dinner! We tried those Gerber Finger foods (the puffs that dissolve), but he seems to just gag as it sits on his tongue dissolving. It is good practice to get used to though I guess!

Charlie is doing a great job sitting up. I sit him up on his floor mat with some toys and he just chills there and plays to his heart's content! He is able to maneuver himself around to get what he wants without a problem. If he falls over he can't manage to get himself back to sitting up quite yet, but I am sure he will get there! He really would like to be mobile. He gets up on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth, but hasn't figured out the coordination yet. He is particularly fond of doing this when he wakes up from his naps, but usually ends up rocking himself right into the side of the crib or his music box and bonking his head - not something he particularly enjoys! :-) He keeps doing it though, so I guess it can't hurt that bad!

We made the switch over to Charlie sleeping in his crib at night. Up until now he has been in the pack and play in our room over night, but last week we decided it was time for the move. He is still sleeping really well and with the exception of one night, has continued sleeping for his usual 10 to 12 hours straight through! As you may have seen in older pictures, we used to have Charlie's pacifier taped to a rolled up cloth diaper. This was a trick we learned in the NICU that helped him keep the pacifier in his mouth or put it back in for himself. A couple weeks ago he started pulling the pacifier off the diaper roll, but still loves to cuddle with the taped up cloth diaper. It has become his teddy bear/security blanket, I guess! Luckily he doesn't seem to mind when I swap it out for a clean one, so that it good!

Charlie is really just getting so big and learning so much every day! I keep finding myself getting all teary eyed looking at him because he is just so amazing! Time flies when you're having fun!!

"Hi Mom! Just popping in to say hello!"

"I am a Super Star!"

"What's so funny? All the cool kids suck their paci like this!"

"I don't know why you guys make me use this thing. You holding the bottle for me is much more efficient."

"Pinned ya! I told ya you wouldn't beat me Teddy Bear!"

"What?! There is someone out there who doesn't think I am the cutest 7 month old ever?? Blasphemy!"

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Update from Mommy-land

1. I am officially a stay-at-home mommy

Today is the first day of school for most districts around here and it is starting to settle in that I am not going back to work. It is a very strange feeling. I was never one who expected to stay home once starting a family, but things change! And I am very lucky that we are in a place that allows me to be able to stay home with minimal worries. I know it is not a possibility for everyone who might want it to be.

2. The breast-bottle battle.

I have officially given up on all things breast feeding related. The last time I pumped was over a week ago and my supply is definitely dwindling. I don't know if I ever "announced" that we had given up on actual breast feeding a couple months ago. Before we were discharged we had gotten to 2-3 successful feedings a day by breast, but Charlie was never very good at it. As the weeks passed at home, it got worse and worse until one day we were both sitting there crying and I realized it just wasn't worth the stress any more. I continued pumping when I could, but decided to be done with that as well recently. After more than 6 months of trying, I feel like I gave it a valiant effort, but it just wasn't worth it any more. It was a very hard choice to make and came with many tears, but Charlie is doing really well with his soy formula, so I can't ask for more than that!

3. Charlie news

Charlie has been continuing his slow and steady progress in the land of 'solid' food. He takes his brown rice cereal two times a day fairly well. Some days are better than others. He cannot be tired at all, or he just refuses to have anything to do with eating from a spoon. We also started some sweet potatoes last week and he loves them! He takes 1-2 servings a day of those too. I think we might try some avocado later this week.

He has two little teeth on the bottom that are so close to popping through! Seeing how he has been chewing and drooling for weeks now, we knew something had to be moving around in there! He does not seem any more fussy than is typical (knock on wood!), so hopefully that means he is able to handle it ok.

His rash is completely cleared up. He finished his antibiotics a few days ago and they seem to have done the trick! We actually go back to the pediatricians on Thursday for our "6 month" check-up. I think that means more shots - - not fun! I will update you on how that goes later this week!

Chewing on the monkey

Chewing on the frozen teether

Chewing on daddy's nose

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

D-Day Anniversary

One year ago today our lives were changed forever when we were told that something didn't "look quite right" on our routine sonogram and they thought it might be a diaphragmatic hernia. We received our official diagnosis the following week at the specialist, but we knew deep down, despite what we hoped, that there was not really reason to believe that the diagnosis would be any different than what we had been told. Rationally we knew that the technician wouldn't see something if it weren't really there. So, one year ago today began the journey that we never imagined we would take. We did not know what our future held, but we had faith that we would make it to the other side together - come what may!

This is the video Vince has been working on since the night my water broke, capturing moments on the camera here and there. It is an amazing story and one that we are proud to share with you. Enjoy!